Moss-Racusin, Dovidio, Brescoll, Graham and Handelsman (2012) focus on the way gender stereotypes affect employment patterns in academics. They use an experimental approach to check their hypothesis. The research question can be formulated as follows. Will science faculty members reveal preferential evaluation of a male science student to work in the laboratory settings? Moss-Racusin et al. (2012) used the randomized controlled design.
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It is necessary to note that the research is relevant, and the researchers managed to diminish possible threats to internal and external validity. However, there still can be certain bias. The threat associated with the selection of subject’s threat is not properly addressed or highlighted (Brewer & Crano, 2014). The researchers note that 127 participants take part in the research, but their gender is not provided.
The validity of the results could be affected by this fact since the majority of participants could be males sharing similar views on female scientists. At the same time, the external validity is also properly addressed. There are no multiple treatment interferences. There can be no reactive effects of experimental interference. Nonetheless, there can be certain threats related to the interaction of selection biases and the variable.
One of the instruments employed was the Modern Sexism Scale. The participants completed the scale after sharing their views on applications. However, this instrument can be associated with certain threats to internal and external validity. As for internal validity, John Henry effect could affect the results. This threat is associated with the participants’ desire to perform better as they know they are participating in an experiment (Brewer & Crano, 2014).
This was the case as the participants could understand that their gender bias is measured and could try to seem more gender-neutral. As for external validity, the reactive effects if experimental arrangements could occur (Brewer & Crano, 2014). Under other conditions, the participants could be more candid when contemplating on gender stereotypes.
The experimental research implemented by Moss-Racusin et al. (2012) could be facilitated by the use of some qualitative tools. One of the issues existing in the society is the correlation between gender stereotypes and employment. In academics, these issues can be evident especially when it comes to such disciplines as sciences. Moss-Racusin et al. (2012) shed some light on the matter.
The next step can be the implementation of the interviews with the faculty members. It can be beneficial to elicit their ideas of gender stereotypes. This will shed light on the extent the stereotypes are implicitly present or are grounded on some experiences. Importantly, the participants should be interviewed in their working environment as this will help to create the necessary atmosphere as people may act differently in any other place. Levy Paluck and Cialdini (2014) state that field methods are effective as they help identify the exact way the trend exists and develops.
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The ability to understand people’s ideas on the matter is one of the essential strengths of the qualitative method. This can help unveil particular barriers to people’s more egalitarian behaviors. At the same time, there are some limitations.
Thus, participants can conceal their true ideas and opinion as they could try to adjust to the accepted norms (Roller & Lavrakas, 2015). However, even this limitation is associated with insights into the problem. It becomes clear that social norms are changing and people (although they do not behave in certain ways) want to create an image of a person complying with some norms. The shift in the social norms and ethical concerns shows that the society is prepared to the manor shift that may occur in people’s minds (even if the changes will take place in the distant future).
Brewer, M.B., & Crano, W.D. (2014). Research design and issues of validity. In H.T. Reis & C.M. Judd (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in social and personality psychology (pp. 11-27). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Levy Paluck, E., & Cialdini, R.B. (2014). Field research methods. In H.T. Reis & C.M. Judd (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in social and personality psychology (pp. 81-101). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Moss-Racusin, C.A., Dovidio, J.F., Brescoll, V.L., Graham, M.J. & Handelsman, J. (2012). Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(41), 16474-16479. Web.
Roller, M.R., & Lavrakas, P.J. (2015). Applied qualitative research design: A total quality framework approach. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.